Route: Museum of the History of Eltigen landing troops - Kerch Fortress - Museum of the History of Defence of the Adzhimushkay quarries – Tsar’s Mound - Yeni-Kale Fortress.
If you are interested in history and want to know more about the Crimean wars, the Crimean Tatar battles and the events of the Great Patriotic War on the territory of Crimea - you need to make a tour of the military and historical places of the Kerch Peninsula. You will see secret underground passages, cellars, defense forts, tunnels for mine warfare, military hospitals, and gas-proof shelters.
The starting point of our route is the Museum of the History of Eltigen landing troops.
How to get there by public transport: at the Kerch Bus Station take a bus to the village Geroevskoe.
How to get there by car: from Kerch take the Highway Heroes of Stalingrad, and then follow the Highway Heroes of Eltigen to the village Geroevskoe. Distance - 20 km.
The Museum of the History of Eltigen landing troops was opened in the village Geroevskoe in May 1985. The Memorial was built on the site of the landing of troops. The memorial complex includes a communal grave of the troopers, a boat sunk by enemy aircraft and installed on a pedestal, hospital and operating room, the remains of the trenches and anti-tank ditch, eternal flame and a monument to the mainplane. The museum exposition dedicated to Eltigen landing was opened in the 40th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Establishment of the Museum became a people’s tribute to the memory of courageous soldiers.
Now we are heading to the Kerch Fortress.
How to get there: from the village Geroevskoe by any bus to Kerch till the stop “Highway Heroes of Stalingrad". Then walk to the Pavlovsk Bay.
The fortress was built after the Crimean War. The construction lasted 20 years - from 1857 to 1877. Fortifications were located in such a way that all vessels entering the Azov Sea certainly got under the fire of coastal batteries. Among all the bastions of the Crimean Peninsula the Kerch fortress was one of the best in longstanding defense. You can visit different historical and architectural sites and areas. First of all, one should see a 3 km moat with a depth of 5 meters and a width of 15 meters that surround the fortress with its well-preserved stonework; cellar for storing ammunition, secret underground passages that connect the batteries with the barracks and powder magazines. In the longest underground tunnel (over 600 meters) there are tunnels for underground mine warfare that have been well preserved. There is an interesting system of water supply of the fortress, which includes wells, water lines and water-lifting machine.
Now let’s visit the Museum of History of Defense of Adzhimushkay quarries.
How to get there: at the Bus Station take a bus # 4 and follow the Adzhimushkay Highway to the village Adzhimushkay.
Adzhimushkay quarries are a unique historical revolutionary monument. At the beginning of the XX century, it was typography of the crypto-Bolsheviks who often held the meetings there.
The Museum of the History of Defence of Adzhimushkay quarry was opened in May 1967.
It is located in underground mines, which are many kilometers of multibranch system of tunnels, galleries, narrow corridors, formed after the excavation of shell limestone, which was used as a building material.
In the quarries you will see "a well of life"; gas-proof shelter, hospital, and heaps that appeared after the fascists exploded the roofs of the quarries and blocked the tunnels. Near the communal graves of theAdzhimushkay heroic soldiers all the visitors turn off the flashlights to commemorate the heroes in utter darkness and silence. Since its opening, an underground museum was visited by more than 3 million people. And none of them left indifferent.
Walking down the Scythian Street, we reach the Tsar’s Mound. Distance - 1 km from the Museam.
Tsar's Mound is a monument of the funerary architecture of the IV century BC. It is a real masterpiece of ancient art of building constructed on a natural hill. Architecture of the mound has an interesting design concept that was far ahead of its time. Indoor corridor (37 m) that leads to a square burial chamber gives a meaning to the whole construction. At the entrance to the chamber a slight extension of dromos creates perspective illusion, so the path to the tomb seems shorter. But from inside the chamber the perspective effect works vice versa, making the exitway from the tomb look longer and narrower. Right near the Tsar’s Mound the visitors can get acquainted with a part of museum's lapidary collection. Due to historical and architectural merits the Tsar’s Mound is undoubtedly one of the important architectural monuments in the world. Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to see the Mound.
The next stop on our rout is Yeni-Kale Fortress.
How to get there: take a bus # 1 till the stop "Yeni-Kale."
The fortress was built in order to close Russia's access from the Azov Sea to the Black Sea, which used to be a part of Turkey. The fortress was constructed in the shape of irregular trapezoid and fenced with high crenellated walls. From the land in front of the fortress walls a deep moat was dug. There were three roads that led to the fortress: one – from Kerch along the sea coast, the second - from the northeast, the third - from Dzhankoy. Another entrance was from the sea. The gates were fortified by towers and sites for the troops. Yeni-Kale Garrison could number up to 2,000 people, but usually the fortress accomodated about 1,000 soldiers. Most of them were Turks; however, the post also included the Tatar volunteers, recruited from nearby villages. The soldiers were paid from the Sultan treasury. They lived in barracks inside the fortress and went to mosque and hammam. Garrison commander was a pasha in the high rank of vizier. He also lived in the fortress; his rooms were located above the Dzhankoy gates.